This is a bit off topic, but I think it's easy to blame the apologies on personal causes, i.e. the character of our candidates, instead of on structural causes, i.e. the power of the Right to manipulate the media and crank up a scandal.
If more of us got involved as we did when we defended Edwards' bloggers, we might some day be able to deflect some of the Right's heat away from our candidates.
That's why it would be nice to see more campaigns like the one by BlogPac last week. Ideally, we would encourage our side to do the right things and and hit the media with a lot of emails and letters in protest of the Right's smear du jour. It would be great to have some joint projects between BlogPac and MediaMatters, just to name one possible scenario.
It's time for the blogosphere to step in for individual candidates in districts like NY-13. Obviously we don't have the money to match the DCCC. But if someone (cough, Jonathan, cough) would highlight a candidate on the front page and call on blog readers to support him/her, maybe we could help a few candidates who need help.
I know we've been told to go to Actblue repeatedly, but given the level of frustration expressed here, it might be time to start a concerted campaign to correct the DCC strategy.
Besides, if one of the candidates we support wins in spite of the DCCC's neglect, we raise our profile. We have a chance to rebut the criticism that none of the candidates we support has won.
Your point about marketing and moderation is a good one, but I found it striking that you chart presents media outlets while you analysis deals with the 2 major parties, for the most part. I think you pointed up a fundamental problem on our side, the lack of a media/messaging infrastructure. Democratic candidates, especially presidental candidates, start with a big disadvantage because the other side has its media infrastructure and celebrity mercenaries (O'Reilly, Limbaugh etc.) in place.
Even if Democrats start winning more and more elections, the imbalance in the media will shift the political debate to the right. (Think health care, circa 1994). Democrats (of the left if you prefer) need media muscle in addition to strong candidates.
We need a new generation of Democrats. A cohort of prtisan warriors. A group of fearless partisans who would stand with Murtha and echo his charges against Bush. (Why is it when one of ours speaks out s/he has to speak alone?) A group that knows how to push back against the media with a clear message and a relentless drive to to set the terms of the debate every day.
There is a place for Obama, after others have rhetorically put the conservatives on the defensive. Obama can't do that.
I take your comments to heart. I just sent a letter to editor the Philadelphia Inquirer in which I argued the tKatrina revealed the failure of conservative political philosophy. The LTE was inspired in part by Lakoff, but here are the problems: 1. who knows if it will be published and 2. how can anyone spell out a critique and an alternative vision in 200 words?
Similar constraints operate in the larger world and that leads me to my next point: who is going to bring the pieces of the coalition together? who will speak for the coalition and how will it get its word out? Which is our bigget problem: the lack of vision or the lack of leadership? People like us can write LTEs and blog posts all we want, but someone has to amplify our views.